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Upgraded USB cable vs. digital interface vs. upgraded DAC/amp

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

so i have an audio-gd NFB-12 fed by a crappy USB cable from my laptop via ASIO, mostly FLAC content, going to Lawton Audio LA-5000s.

 

should I

 

1) get a digital interface (like M2Tech hi-face two) and use the Blue Jean Cables coax cable i already have laying around

2) upgrade my USB cable (recommendations?)

3) upgrade my DAC/amp

 

what would make the largest difference in sound quality?

 

thanks!

 

ps. my upgrade budget for now is like up to $200-ish


Edited by movi - 12/23/12 at 6:35pm
post #2 of 5
I'd recommend upgrading DAC/Amp

Upgrading USB wires means nothing because digital does not lose quality, it either works or does not. So you can keep that.
USB and S/PDIF both have their own little drawbacks, but a converter would probably give you the problems associated with USB at best and problems associated with both USB and S/PDIF at worst.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by movi View Post

So I have an audio-gd NFB-12 fed by a crappy USB cable from my laptop via ASIO, mostly FLAC content, going to Lawton Audio LA-5000s.

1) get a digital interface (like M2Tech hi-face two) and use the Blue Jean Cables coax cable i already have laying around

2) upgrade my USB cable (recommendations?)

3) upgrade my DAC/amp

what would make the largest difference in sound quality?

budget for now is like up to $200-ish

Do you play your audio music files using Foobar2000?

Double checked all the audio settings for your laptop, is sample rate set to 24-bit/44.1Khz or 24-bit/48Khz.

Get a new USB 3.0 rated cable, as short as possible.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Do you play your audio music files using Foobar2000?

Double checked all the audio settings for your laptop, is sample rate set to 24-bit/44.1Khz or 24-bit/48Khz.

Get a new USB 3.0 rated cable, as short as possible.

 

i use Winamp and ASIO upsampling to 96khz

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by no one View Post

I'd recommend upgrading DAC/Amp
Upgrading USB wires means nothing because digital does not lose quality, it either works or does not. So you can keep that.
USB and S/PDIF both have their own little drawbacks, but a converter would probably give you the problems associated with USB at best and problems associated with both USB and S/PDIF at worst.

If you have an audio store near where you live, borrow an upgraded USB cable to see for yourself the effect an upgraded USB cable might have before you consider other options. You may not notice a difference.  Or the difference may be such that you will be happy with just the cable upgrade.   I recently borrowed two USB cables (AQ Cinnamon and Diamond) to try with my Solo -dB and performed blind tests with two of my co-workers - they both consistently identified the upgraded cables over the cables that came with the Solo.  I don't claim to understand why they can make a difference, but with computer based audio, everything matters.

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